Financial Modelling with the DecisionTools Suite

This hands-on course is designed for anyone who quantitatively models aspects of their business, or performs risk or decision analysis as part of their work, and the lessons apply to all industries and modelling requirements. While mainly using simple discounted cash flow example models to help explain the software and techniques, the knowledge gained can be applied to any application involving uncertainty in the Excel environment.

Attendees will be introduced to the concepts and methods necessary to simulate almost all potential future outcomes, develop a risk assessment and to make defensible decisions under uncertainty using Palisade software. Discover how to translate deterministic Excel analysis into an @RISK model that uses Monte Carlo simulation to quantify exposure to risk and test mitigation strategies. The importance of interdependent relationships among variables is discussed, as well as how to implement these relationships in spreadsheet models. Business and modelling decisions will be compared using special @RISK functions and charts. Several key modelling concepts will be introduced, as well as creating report templates. Fitting distributions and time series models to historical data will be explored using @RISK. Examples will be presented and created which will demonstrate how to effectively use the software and interpret the results.

While the majority of the course will focus on risk modelling with @RISK, other elements of the DecisionTools Suite are introduced over the two days, complimenting and extending the fundamental usage of @RISK’s Monte Carlo analysis. Key topics include modelling sequential decisions and sensitivity analysis using decision trees in PrecisionTree and model auditing and sensitivity analysis.


  • Some experience of building models with Excel
    Minimum requirements include knowledge and experience of the following:
    • Opening, saving and closing Excel files
    • Entering data and creating formulae
    • Copying formulae, using relative and absolute referencing, range names
    • Formatting cells
  • Strongly Recommended—completion of applicable software tutorials on the Palisade web site
  • Recommended—some familiarity with basic statistics

Course Agenda

Day 1

  • Introduction to Simulation
  • Exploring @RISK
  • Adding uncertainty to deterministic models
  • Incorporating expert opinion into risk models
  • The ‘right’ distribution
  • Simulating and simulation settings
  • Output and results interpretation
  • Reporting simulation results in Excel

Day 2

  • Sensitivity and scenario analysis using TopRank
  • Sensitivity analysis using @RISK
  • Reporting simulation results in Excel
  • Using discrete distributions
  • Decision comparison with @RISK
  • Modelling decisions with PrecisionTree

Day 3

  • Correlating input variables
  • Using historical data to define distributions
  • Using historical data to define time series models
  • Advanced @RISK functionality
  • Exploring other elements of the DecisionTools Suite


Program Level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Familiarity with Microsoft Excel. No Advanced Preparation required.

These courses are Group Live Offerings. Credits available per hour of instruction: 1 PMI Professional Development Unit, 1 PDH toward AACEI certification.

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130 East Seneca Street
Suite 505
Ithaca, NY 14850
800 432 RISK (US/Can)
+1 607 277 8000
+1 607 277 8001 fax
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+44 1895 425050
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